Carnegie Mellon University


Congresswoman Summer Lee Announces Safety21 at Carnegie Mellon University

Congresswoman Summer Lee announced that Carnegie Mellon University has been awarded $20 million over the next five years from the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish a new University Transportation Center, Safety21, to be led by Raj Rajkumar.

“Through Safety21, faculty and student researchers will capitalize on the opportunities and risks that automated and connected vehicles present. The knowledge they create will be shared with transportation managers, companies and community organizations, resulting in technology transfer and deployment,” said William H. Sanders, dean of CMU's College of Engineering.

“Safety21 is yet another example of the important work we are doing at the critical nexus of technology and society,” said Ramayya Krishnan, dean of the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. “As technological advancements in AI and electric vehicles continue to emerge, we must operate with a concentrated focus on the importance of safety, equity and the environment.”

Raj Rajkumar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, will lead Safety21. Rajkumar, who has earned global recognition for autonomous vehicle research, was the director of Carnegie Mellon’s last UTC, Mobility21. Safety21 will be the fourth UTC that Carnegie Mellon has managed since 2012.

“Safety21’s project portfolio will enhance transportation safety through research, development, and deployment of breakthrough technologies and policy innovations. Additionally, we seek to broaden our impact by ensuring communities have equal access to safety technologies; evaluating energy use and emissions; and supporting domestic commercialization, entrepreneurship, and public policy to rally economic strength and global competitiveness,” said Rajkumar.

Out of five National UTC grants awarded in 2023, Safety21 is the one national center with the theme of improving safety. UTC funding is authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

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